Ray Gilbert, 1 November 2019
People detained, illegally.
Their lives stole, complicity.
Tortured, abused, degraded, surreptitiously.
By an anarchic law, systematically.
Family decimated, subsequently.
Loved ones deceased, tortuously.
Banging heads on wall, indefinitely.
To obtain freedom, systematically.
Torment, pain, through a windowpane.
Years roll past on a jet plane.
Our voices stifled to drive us insane.
By a system leaving us to wane.
The fight back to overcome loss.
Cemented by family, media, boss.
Victory overlooks the State’s gloss.
As we become the idol toss.
Fear, relief, reprieve, sustained.
Free of bars, repression maintained.
Life of normality, regained.
To begin a chapter, unpained.
Ray wrote this poem especially for Empowering the Innocent when he heard that it was being established. It is very moving to read but concludes with the hope of moving beyond the harm and pain of wrongful conviction and incarceration. Ray was convicted for the joint enterprise murder of John Suffield, a Liverpool Bookmaker, in 1981. He was released on life licence in 2016 after 35 years in prison. He has always maintained his innocence and continues to fight his conviction in the hope of one day overturning it and clearing his name.